What is the general rule for giving toasts?

QuestionThere are many family and friends who have all asked to give toasts at the wedding reception. Given the time limit, I just don’t see how I can fit them all in through the course of the night. What is the general rule for who gives toasts at the wedding?

AnswerAs your friends, they will understand that you want to keep the reception running smoothly without too much delay. With that being said, how you deliver your message is equally vital since well meaning friends may get hurt if they feel ‘too insignificant’ to give a speech or toast. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

The first toast of the night often goes to the best man. Both fathers may also want to offer their toasts to welcome each other’s family and friends to the event and to express their joys. Your maid of honour and other attendants may also want to offer their toasts. To cut down on time, they may want to offer their toasts together. You and your new husband may also want to offer your toasts and thanks to all your family and friends. Following all of these toasts, there may be a few choice friends to offer toasts as well.

Suggest that toasts be limited to two or three minutes in length. Considering all the people that may be offering a toast, this can easily add up to an extra 30 minutes of the night’s schedule. Tactfully mention that toasts are meant to be reflective of your wedding and are, in essence “short and sweet”, and always respectful (after all, grandma is in the crowd and so are all your aunts and uncles).

Another idea is to have friends offer toasts at special parties (e.g. at the rehearsal dinner, pre-wedding parties, perhaps say a poem at the ceremony).